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The Greek Parthenon and Your Career
published June 23, 2014
"Most corporations and their employees don't know much about the law and risk management. Their expertise is in providing services or producing products. My job is to identify, weigh and reduce risks. I educate employees about policies and reducing risk and manage and collect discovery - they call me the document archeologist. When we use outside counsel, I partner with the firm to most cost effectively manage cases and act as the internal point person for documents and employee interviews. I attend depositions, mediations, trial, document reviews and interview witnesses.
Since our parent company is in Denmark, my job has taken me there for meetings and to interview witnesses and review documents. Denmark is about the size of Oregon and there are offices all over Denmark, so I get to do my job and see the sights by driving all over Denmark (LEGOLAND was my favorite spot). We also have in-house legal personnel at a number of sister companies worldwide. We get together one to two times per year to share information and learn about the law in other countries. We've met in Copenhagen, US, Athens, Greece and have one scheduled in Germany. I also like to visit our service sites around the country when I have to be in the area and, yes, I have climbed a wind turbine."
"I am usually reading 5-6 books at a time, depending on my mood: the text for whatever course I'm teaching, some kind of geeky leadership guide, a devotional, an easy read mystery (there are too many good ones to mention) and 'something else.' My current 'something else' is Bamboo Promises by Vicheara Houn. This is a must read. She started it as therapy to deal with the wounds she had from the Cambodian genocide, but it turned into an engaging historical novel of the events at the time."
"Most people want to continually challenge themselves with expanding responsibilities. Working as in-house paralegal allows a person to be part of the whole process - from working alongside your colleagues as they make business decisions to helping them issue spot and understand the legal implications. It was a natural progression to utilize my work history, management training and life experiences to move into a different function.
My job is as varied as they come. My job is to locate witnesses, collect records and work with outside counsel on litigation matters. I issue and manage our legal holds as well. While my primary function is litigation, we have very little of it. A fair amount of my time is spent developing short trainings for risk management. I also support our sales team by dealing with the licensing issues in each of the states and provinces, as well as support the employment group. Our legal group supports the US and Canada, as well as our manufacturing plants in Colorado."
"Oregon is an awesome place to be a paralegal. Most attorneys embrace paralegal usage and they are great delegators so our jobs are always challenging us. I'm surprised to be saying this, but I'd like to see more limited license tasks and this is a natural place for an experienced paralegal. The legal profession in Oregon has worked hard at providing cost effective legal services to low and mid income families, but we just haven't found the right solutions."
"Pam Pendley, nka Packard, was definitely my first mentor. She took me under her wing, taught me how to do paralegal work, introduced me to OPA and helped me get the confidence I needed to carry me through to the next level. Behind her, I have been blessed to work with some of the best attorneys in Portland, a number of whom became judges, including the Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice. I'd name them all, but fear I'd miss one and that would be awful."
"We'd all like to think we made a difference, wouldn't we? In the end, the old adage' hindsight is 20/20' seems to be true. I don't really think about being influential. I do feel that I have the ability to build consensus and that has impacted both the national and local associations.
I am pretty excited about my two most recent activities. First, I'm on the task force for the Oregon Limited License Technician and coordinated a Town Hall meeting of stakeholders to talk about the issues. Then, in April, I spearheaded the OPA 35th Anniversary Celebration and raised $5000 for the Campaign for Equal Justice."
Third Year Law Student John P. Beauvais Jr. Wants to Practice Landlord Tenant and Family Law
Willamette University College of Law, Salem, OR
First Year Law Student Robert Parker Will Practice Law in the Portland, Oregon Area